Former Francistown Mayor, Peter Ngoma will contest the upcoming general elections at Tati East constituency under the Alliance for Progressives (AP) ticket. Ngoma who is currently a specially elected councillor in Francistown City Council recently dumped the ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) for the purple movement after he lost primary elections at Zwenshambe ward in Tati West constituency.
The veteran politician will now face Dr Douglas Letsholathebe of the BDP and coalition Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC)’s Mathodi Modisapodi. In an interview with this publication, Ngoma admitted that he has been confirmed as the AP candidate in Tati East constituency. “After I recently joined the party, I was informed that there was no parliamentary candidate in Tati East and the party leadership informed me that they are willing to appoint me as their parliamentary candidate. I gladly seized the opportunity since I did not have any constituency to contest for,” the elated Ngoma divulged. He revealed that he decided to ditch the ruling party after realizing that the primary elections within the BDP popularly known as Bulela Ditswe are always marred by irregularities and day light cheating to favour certain candidates. Ngoma noted that after he was expelled from Botswana People’s Party (BPP) in 1998 after he challenged Motlatsi Molapisi for the Francistown mayoral position and won, he became an independent councillor for six months before finally deciding to join BDP.
“After joining the BDP, I tried my luck twice in Francistown West constituency primary elections but I lost to the late Tshelang Masisi. I must admit that Masisi won the primary elections due to the cheating tendencies within the party. In 2008 after Sylvia Muzila and I launched a complaint that there should be a re-count, we were surprised when the results changed again. Initially, I got position 3 but after a recount, I was now position 2, which was a sign that there was vote rigging involved,” he pointed out. According to Ngoma, what broke the camel’s back is that even at Zwenshambe ward, he was also robbed of victory after two of his registration books went missing and his supporters did not appear on the party’s voter’s roll hence he was ultimately defeated.
He notes that after a thorough introspection, he decided to join AP because the party is presently the most stable formation compared to other political movements. “Voters have welcomed AP whole heartedly because the party has a very good manifesto and policies on how to improve the lives of ordinary citizens. When I conduct my house to house campaigns, voters are very receptive and are appreciating our policies and programmes hence I am optimistic that I will perform well in the upcoming polls,” Ngoma further buttressed.
If elected to parliament, Ngoma promises to address the acute shortage of water currently bemoaning the constituents. He insists that the problem can be rectified by purchasing a generator that will pump water from Ntimbale dam to the villages. “It is heart-breaking to see villagers queuing for water in public stand pipes whereas the water pressure is too low,” he said. Another issue that Ngoma promises to tackle is shortage of land. He is of the view that government needs to engage Tati Company in an effort to buy land from the company and redistribute it to Batswana who have been waiting for residential plots for a very long time. He added, “If Tati Company refuses to sell the land, government needs to find a way of repossessing the land even if it means through a court order.”
The parliamentary hopeful further reasoned that most of constituents are unemployed because they do not have national identity cards. Ngoma highlighted that most of them were born between Zimbabwean and Motswana parents but they are told to renounce their Zimbabwean citizenship before they can be issued with identity cards. “Most of the affected people were born in Botswana; they have never gone to Zimbabwe so it is difficult for them to renounce their Zimbabwean citizenship. Our government needs to help those people and end their misery as they are living in abject poverty,” he reiterated.